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Budget G3 Powerhack

Joined
Jul 13, 2010
Messages
61
Motherboard
Gigabyte Intel LGA 1151 H170 DS3H
CPU
3.19 i5 Sky Lake
Graphics
Radeon RX 560 4 GB
A couple of years ago I picked up a couple of G4 Powermacs and a G3 Powermac from Ebay for about £10 each. I have built one Hackintosh for a friend and one for myself from the G4's and decided to assemble a budget backup/test rig Hackintosh for myself from the G3.
I acquired most of the parts again from Ebay including an Antec 500W PSU for £15, an AsusP5g41T-m LX for £20 this mobo takes DDR3 RAM which is cheaper and will take a max of 8GB, I also managed to pick up 8GB (2 x 4GB sticks) of DDR3 RAM for £27 and a socket 775 2.53Ghz Core 2 Duo for £25
The other parts I happened to have lying around were a 9800gt video card and a Gentle Typhoon 120cm fan.
I wanted the finished article to look as much like a stock G3 as I could manage and along with current thinking I decided that an optical drive would not be required.

First job was to strip the G4


The problem with the G3 is that the side panels are translucent and when you drill out the old mobo mounting studs you'll be left with holes all over the inner sides and they will be visible. The lettering was carefully removed and retained for later use.

By fakieollie at 2012-03-19

Lining up the new mobo to determine where the standoffs should be positioned.
The holes for the old mobo mounts can be clearly seen in this pic.
I junked the sliding plastic tray latch mechanism and now the top locking bar is used to secure the side door closed. I reversed the spring on the locking bar so now it's springs into the lock position automatically unlike originally.

By fakieollie at 2012-03-19

Next job was to fill all the unwanted holes. The G3, G4, Quicksilver and MDD powermac cases are all riveted together so the rivet heads were all filled as well.

By fakieollie at 2012-03-19

The inside of the panel after filling.

By fakieollie at 2012-03-19

The plan was for an SSD boot drive to be fitted in the 3.5 drive bay and a card reader fitted were the optical drive used to be. The optical drive carrier was cut down so as it's just long enough for the reader and drive mount. A G5 Powermac drive cage is for extra storage.

By fakieollie at 2012-03-19

The power switch module from a G4 is simpler to hotwire than the G3 item.

By fakieollie at 2012-03-19

Once all the holes were filled a couple of coats of Ford Moondust Silver were applied to tidy it up.

By fakieollie at 2012-03-19

Getting some airflow through the case was solved by putting the Gentle Typhoon fan on the bottom where it won't be seen and it can then blow over the Arctic Cooling Accelero cooler on the 9800GT.

By fakieollie at 2012-03-19

Fan and drive cage seen from the inside.

By fakieollie at 2012-03-19

Card reader in postion.

By fakieollie at 2012-03-19

Mobo and graphics card test fitted.

By fakieollie at 2012-03-19

As you can see the Accelero cooler just clears the inner panel when the case side is shutting.

By fakieollie at 2012-03-19
By fakieollie at 2012-03-19

Cooler sits nicely directly above the fan and also clears the drive cage.

By fakieollie at 2012-03-19

I decided against using and I/O shield so trimmed the original backplate and left some room for airflow.

By fakieollie at 2012-03-19

The original side lettering was re-attached.

By fakieollie at 2012-03-19

The card reader and USB hidden behind the optical drive bay door. Probably won't get used much but it's hidden away and might save grubbing around behind the back trying ti find USB ports.

By fakieollie at 2012-03-19

Trimmed the plastic grill away from the PSU outlet for smoother airflow and therefore less noise. Also had to trim some material away form the Euro plug connector.

By fakieollie at 2012-03-19

Nothing changed at the front.

By fakieollie at 2012-03-19

You can see here where all those ugly holes would be visible if I hadn't filled them.

By fakieollie at 2012-03-19

Looking pretty original.

By fakieollie at 2012-03-19

Wiring not 100% finished but all up and running with an old laptop drive to proof it.

By fakieollie at 2012-03-19

Just waiting for payday now to get a 60GB SSD and a hard drive or possibly two and may go for a quieter CPU cooler as well.

Not exactly high end but should be sturdy and serve it's purpose for a while yet, and it will only cost me about £250.
If I want I could just drop another MATX mobo and an i3, i5 or i7 in it.
I think it might surprise a few people who think it's just an old G3 too.
Any thoughts?...
 

Gus

Joined
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How did you get the lettering off?! I never even thought about that. The holes being visible. Its absolutely fabulous! :thumbup:
I can't wait to start my g3 now!
It looks amazing man. So tidy. Well done. Thanks for sharing!
 
Joined
Jul 13, 2010
Messages
61
Motherboard
Gigabyte Intel LGA 1151 H170 DS3H
CPU
3.19 i5 Sky Lake
Graphics
Radeon RX 560 4 GB
Thanx Gus, nice to know that someone else likes it too..
Must admit I didn't think the lettering would come off easily and I thought I would have to paint them back on, but I slid a 6 inch steel rule under the corner of one and carefully levered it up and it came off OK.
I think that as it's so old the adhesive had got a bit brittle and so came away without too much trouble.
 
Joined
May 27, 2010
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Hi Spackley,
Nice build, a few things in it that have helped me work some things out in my AGP G4 build up - I'm using the reverse spring idea so I can ditch the plastic latch.
Just a quick question from me, after looking at the photos and comparing with my build it looks like your mobo is not a normal MicroATX as it doesn't seem deep enough - is it a flex ATX? What is the board?

Edit: ignore the last question - re-read it all again and can see the board type, I see it is a a short MicroATX variant at 24x20 cm.
 
Joined
Jul 13, 2010
Messages
61
Motherboard
Gigabyte Intel LGA 1151 H170 DS3H
CPU
3.19 i5 Sky Lake
Graphics
Radeon RX 560 4 GB
Glad that the pics have been some help Minihack.
Regarding the reverse spring lock bar, all I did was epoxy two right angle brackets with holes in for the spring, one to the bar and one to the case at approx the same distance apart as the originals so as to have roughly the same spring tension, and it works a treat.
I have done a couple of G4's before and have just removed the spring completely but having it spring to lock is definitely better.
 
Joined
Jan 15, 2012
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Awesome job!

I love it. Now I might have to do it...but I think I'll go i5 or i7 ...
 
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